Dancing on Your Grave

Chapter Three

Thoughts, unless noted differently.

I do not own the following: Teen Titans, Sprite, Converse shoes (though I have my own pair, woot), White Castle, King Kong, etc, etc…

This chapter was brought to you by The Last and Jimmy the Gothic Egg. Bow down. Now. Last-dear got rid of the version that sucked, and Jimmy brought it back to life.

I am seriously bowing down to you guys now. Don't kill me. I had a really, really, really bad case of writer's block. So, throw vegetables at me, I don't care. Just read it and stick with me, please.

I am 80 sure that preocupação means worry in Portuguese.


Gar collapsed facedown on the bed once he got home, haphazardly throwing his book bag into some remote corner of his bedroom.

Today really sucked.

He had gotten another homework detention in English. He failed that Bio quiz.

The only thing he was acing was Spanish, thank God…

Raven walked into his room, her shoes making a dull clunking sound.

"Had a bad day?"

Gar picked his face off of the bed, his look saying it all.

"That bad, huh?"

Gar rolled over on his back, and shot a curious look at her.

"Why are you here?"

Raven let out a frustrated snort. She was tired of his relentless questions, his attitude...

"You know what, Gar? I know that you don't like me. You don't have to remind me every forty-five minutes, okay? I get it."

Gar sat up, the look of a fight on his face.

"I'm just asking, for Godssakes. All I want to know is, why me? Why were you assigned to me?"

Raven, noticing that no hostility was in his tone, opened her mouth to answer.

And then she closed it again.

"To tell you the truth… I honestly don't know…"

"It's gotta be pretty damn important if they didn't tell you anything."

Gar whirled around, and exclaimed, "What the hell?"

Jinx was sitting on the sill of his open window, a smug look on her face.

She waved. "Hi, Raven."

Shellshocked, Raven waved back.

"Who the- what the- how the-" Gar was too flustered by Jinx's sudden entrance that he wasn't able to string a coherent sentence together.

"Easy, dude." Jinx jumped off of the sill, and then leaned on the wall. "I mean you no harm." She held up her fingers, "alien-peace-style".

Gar, however, walked up to the window and look out of it.

"How the hell did you get up here? Whadidja do, shimmy up the drainpipe?"

"Pretty much." Jinx said evasively.

Gar shook his head at her. "You're unbelievable."

"Anyway, I'm here because Serena's a little tied up at the moment. Raven, she wants you to meet her by that pine tree there-" Jinx pointed it out "Tonight. Okay?"

Raven nodded. "I'll go."

"And, Gar-" Jinx tossed him a packet of papers "This is our Algebra review."

"Uh… thanks…" Gar said uncertainly.

"Well, I've got to be…" Jinx's voice trailed off, and she stood rooted to the spot. Her pupils dilated, and she began to stare.

She was murmuring in a low, odd voice.

Gar looked at her like she was possessed.

The spell ended as suddenly as it had begun.

Jinx cursed abruptly.

"Crap!" She exclaimed. "Another exorcism! Gah. Sorry, I've got to run."

And with that, Jinx hoisted herself out of the window, and used to drain pipe to her advantage.

She took off, sprinting down the street.

Gar looked at Raven, and said: "Well, I'm hungry. Want to get some pizza?"


Gar walked up to the counter, ignoring the stares of classmates and customers alike.

"Hey, Boss!" Pat, the man behind the counter, yelled to Gar.

"Hey, Pat!" Gar waved back.

"What you getting today, Boss?"

"Ah, I was thinking two slices, soy cheese. Does that sound good?" Gar drummed his fingers on the countertop.

"Two soy cheese slices, coming right up. Anything else for you, Boss?" Pat grabbed two slices and stuck them in the oven.

"Yeah. A medium Sprite, please." Gar fished the bills out of his pocket.

"Yes, Boss. For here or to go?" Pat smiled at Gar.

"To go. Gotta run."

"Alright. How would you like to pay, Boss?"

Gar smiled to himself. This had become a ritual between the two of them.

"I'd rather not pay, if that's okay with you."

Pat laughed, and said, "Sorry, gotta play by the rules. That's ten-fifty, Boss."

Gar gave him the said amount, and when his food was handed to him he eased his way out of the door.

"'Till next time, Boss!" Pat waved goodbye.

"See ya, Pat!" Gar waved back as best he could.

He ran across the street and into the park, where he grabbed a bench and began to wolf down his pizza.

He looked up, and saw her.

So she's my Guardian Angel, huh?

She held her head up, straining to look for him.

The setting sun set the right angle on her hair, and it glowed a light purple. Sunlight filtered through her wings, giving her a ghostly effect.

And they're black? Why are they black, her wings? Did she do something in her life?

Before he knew what was happening, a sudden thought entered his head.

What did she do to deserve me?

He felt the darkness stir inside of him, brushing gently at the corners of his mind, teasing with him to enter and cause chaos.

"No." He murmured, rubbing at his temples, "Not now… please not now…"

He looked up just in time to see Raven dart across traffic, screaming as she dodged and dived to avoid being hit.

Wow, it must be hard to be dead. She's still alive, but she's not…

Raven looked up to see Gar looking at her calmly, and she looked right back.

He was so nice in that pizza joint, but why is he such an ass other times?

She walked nearer to Gar, and sat down atop of the table. Their gaze lasted until a bird flew through Raven, frightening her so much that she fell off the table and onto the ground.

I just can't get used to being dead, Raven lamented, and glared at Gar, who was laughing hysterically.

"I'm sorry," He gasped, clutching his sides, "I don't mean to laugh, but you fell, and…" He broke off into peals of laughter again.

When he finally sobered, Raven was sitting with her back to him, arms crossed, and staring the other way.

"C'mon, Rae, I'm sorry."

"Don't call me Rae." Raven said automatically, without thinking about it.

There was silence for a minute.

"Hey, Raven?"

"Mmm?"

"What was your life like?"

Raven stroked a lock of her hair, contemplating the right answer.

"Well, I don't remember my mother. She died when I was two."

Gar was suddenly thankful that he knew his parents.

"And… for as long as I can remember, my father ran a boarding house. People paid monthly rents to live in our house… our large, huge house… in Jersey. There was Malchior and his father Rorek. Malchior is two years older than me."

Raven let out a little laugh, and Gar could detect a hint of sadness in it.

"I had the hugest crush on him when I was about thirteen. And he broke my heart. He used me. Since then, I couldn't stand to look at him. I still can't, even when I'm dead and gone."

She stared off into the distance, her feathers on her wings floating along with the breeze, tickling his cheek.

"And there was this Conrad. He was obsessed with comic books, video games, and any movie. And also, TV. Thus, Malchior and I started calling him Control Freak. You know, remote control, comic book freak, get it?"

Gar laughed slightly. "You were good friends with this Malchior person, weren't you?"

A ghost of a smile rested on Raven's face. "Yes, until he used me." Seeing Gar's horrified expression, she quickly said, "Oh, no! Nothing like that!"

"The person you had to be afraid of was this college student. He was studying business. I don't know his real name, except that he was called Slade. He… he was the one you had to watch out for. You couldn't get him mad."

"Did you ever get him mad?"

"No, thank God. But I've seen him yell at Malchior and Conrad hundreds of times. And then, he would turn to me and say, 'Thank you Raven, for being such a good girl… you're Daddy's girl, aren't you?' It was scary."

"But my father…"

Raven's voice had a different tone now.

"He was the dictator. Everything had to be done his way, and exactly the way he wanted it to be done. Nothing was up for discussion. He was an alcoholic, and he could get dangerously angry when he was drunk…"

Raven trailed off into silence.

"Raven? Are you okay?" Gar asked, concerned.

"Yeah. I'm fine. I'm just fine." She turned away from him, and placed her chin in her palm, facing the setting sun.

Gar looked after her, suddenly struck with the strangest urge to gather her in his arms and hold her there for a long, long time.

What's happening to me?


It was close to midnight.

"Psst, Raven."

Gar snored on, and Raven slept contentedly.

"PSST. Wake up, girlie!"

Raven awoke with a jolt.

Serena's grinning face appeared in front of hers.

Tonight, Serena was dressed like a Marilyn Monroe with long blonde hair. With a gorgeous, flattering short white halterdress, beautiful high heeled shoes, and long white wings, Serena looked quite the angel.

"Five more minutes." Raven mumbled, and dropped her face back into the blanket Gar had lent her.

Serena rolled her eyes, and with a flick of her wrist, Raven was outside before she knew it.

"It's cold!" Raven's teeth chattered, and she hugged herself.

"No, it's not." Serena insisted, "You're dead, you can't feel cold."

"Then why do I have goosebumps all over my flesh?" Raven shot back, her wings folding around her.

Serena raised an eyebrow. "I'll ask Pete, all right? Maybe there's something to this second chance thing we don't know."

Raven nodded.

"Why did I get stuck on the bus like that?"

"It's because you still think you're human sometimes. If you accept the fact that you are dead, then you will be able to faze through things."

Can I let go?

"It's the same for flying." Serena continued, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "But just a little different."

Why?

"It's different because you need faith in yourself." Serena looked up at her, and she looked more ghostly than ever before.

Raven nodded.

Faith.

That's all she needed.

She went to turn around to face Serena, but Serena was gone.

"Serena?" Raven whispered, "Where are you?"

There was a soft, barely audible sigh.

"Serena, is that you?" Raven hissed, annoyed now.

Raven walked along the trees, following the direction of the sigh.

She took a sharp corner.

And gasped.

There was a girl with long, blonde hair and wide blue eyes. She was very thin and tall.

She also had her arms wrapped around the neck of some other boy- who was very attractive and dangerous-looking.

"Tara, Tara, Tara…" He whispered, and they both went back to eating each other's faces.

Raven backed up as fast as she could.

"Wait, Xander." Tara suddenly broke their kiss, and looked around. "Do you hear something?"

"No, dear, I don't hear anything." He went to kissing her arm, but Tara insisted.

"And I could've sworn I saw some strange-looking girl."

Raven froze.

She was about to be found out.

I'm dead.

Xander rolled his eyes, but let her look behind him.

I'll accept it.

Tara's eyes swept overhead, and they were falling towards the tree branches.

I'm dead. I'll accept it. I'm dead, okay!

Tara's eyes fell on Raven just as the latter disappeared.

Raven breathed a sigh of relief.

"Come on, let's go." Xander said, taking her arm.

For a second, Tara looked at Xander as if she'd never seen him before.

Xander stroked her arm, and said, "We have school tomorrow, and you don't want to be looking stoned, do you?"

Tara shook her head slowly, and agreed to be led away.


Gar woke with his alarm, and found his angel asleep on the roof.

He stuck his head out the window, and whispered her name.

It would absolutely make his morning if she fell off the roof.

To his everlasting disappointment, she opened her eyes calmly.

"Are you following me to school?"

Raven inched her way towards the window. "Nope. I'm taking a day off."

Gar muttered something that sounded like Thank God.

Raven sent him a death glare, and he held up his hands defensively.

"Hey, I'm sorry, but the wings made it a little hard to concentrate on algebra."

She merely stared at him and huffily pushed herself through the window. Gar moved out of the way to let her pass.

"Go to eat or get dressed or something. I'll be wherever." Raven sleepily ordered.

"And where the hell do you think you're going?"

"The couch. It's quite comfortable."

Gar stared after her in disbelief as she walked down the stairs without making a sound.

She's lucky that she's so damn cute… He thought furiously, pulling on jeans and Converses.

When Gar looked back up, she was standing near the door.

"Come on, let's go." She turned around, making her way down the stairs.

Gar rolled his eyes.

I am really not in the mood for her bossiness today.

He went downstairs, only to find Raven snoozing on the couch.

"Are you skipping school?" He asked her bluntly.

"Does it look like I'm going?" She deadpanned.

Gar shrugged and made it out the door with seconds to spare before the bus.


As soon as everyone had left the house, Raven got off the couch.

She stood up and started to absentmindedly stroke her wing. Sadness overtook her, with bitterness rising through her despair.

As soon as I find Serena again, I'm going to ask her to send me to Jersey. I want to find out what's going on at my house.

She knew that her father was going to walk away without even being accused of her murder. She knew that no one would care enough to speak up, or just be so terrified of Trigon Roth that they would keep quiet.

Raven picked up a pillow and threw it against the couch.

No one cares about me enough! I'll just be the freak who died!

"Cheer up, emo kid!"

Raven jumped. "Jinx?"

Jinx grinned. "Yep. Are you on an unofficial school holiday like I am?"

Raven nodded, still surprised by her sudden entrance. "Sure…"

"Cool." Jinx said, "Let's go."

"Where?"

"I dunno, the boardwalk, the mountains, White Castle, anywhere is game." Jinx gave her a knowing look. "Or we could hitchhike to New Jersey, if you want."

"Who told you where I was from?"

"Serena, uh, accidentally let your actual name slip." Jinx said nonchalantly, studying a strand of pink hair, "I just did the researching on my own."

Raven was officially scared of Jinx.

"Do you have nothing else to do?"

Jinx sent her a sarcastic look. "You mean besides school, exorcising people, and being bossed around by Paradise? A girl's gotta have some fun, you know."

Raven twisted her mouth around. It wasn't like her to apologize. "I'm not good at apologizing, so consider my going with you your apology."

Jinx jumped up. "Finally we can have some fun!"


Jinx was asleep in the theater.

Of all things, they were watching the new King Kong, and they weren't even paying attention.

Raven looked up at the screen, only half-interested. A bunch of people were screaming and running around.

Now, can you name what other movie that scene is in?

For the sixteenth time in the last twenty minutes, the stoner behind Raven coughed. Raven turned around and glared, only to remember that no one could see her.

To say that she felt stupid would have been an understatement.

He coughed again.

Jinx's foot twitched.

There was a noticeable change in the room. A dull buzzing erupted in Raven's ears, and the darkness around them grew. Jinx rolled over in her sleep, obviously disturbed.

The stoner, still coughing his lungs up, got up shakily and left his seat. He stumbled along the way, holding onto the wall for support.

Raven watched him leave the theater and turn out of sight.

The buzzing went away, and the darkness diminished.

Jinx sat up violently. She turned to Raven.

"Where did he go?" She demanded, clutching her own head. Raven saw that her pupils were dilated again.

"Who?"

"The freaking stoner, who else?"

Raven had no idea what was going on. "Why, do you want some?"

Jinx stood up in a hurry, whispering harshly, "No, because he's got some extra baggage I've got to take care of."

Raven followed her out of the theater and into the blinding hall lights. Jinx's head was slightly titled towards the ceiling.

Jinx paused, taking a deep breath. "This way," She concluded after a few seconds of quiet.

Raven followed on Jinx's heels, only stopping when they reached a custodian's closet.

"Won't we get in trouble? And how do you even know that he's in there?"

Jinx gave her an incredulous look. "Only I'll get in trouble, 'cuz I'm still alive. And, I'll bet you a million dollars that this is where he and his buddies get stoned."

Jinx wrenched open the closet and stepped inside.

The stoner was now on the ground, his cheek resting on a broom.

"Who are you?" She demanded.

The stoner wearily lifted his head. "I'm Cameron." He slurred.

Jinx looked hard into his startling blue eyes as he brushed his shaggy dark brown hair out of his face.

"No. Who are you?"

"I'm Cameron." He repeated a little more forced than the last time.

"I'm giving you one last chance," Jinx breathed dangerously, "Who are you?"

Cameron picked himself off the ground. "I am Preocupação," He said in an accented voice.

Jinx lifted an amused eyebrow. "So, you're a Worry Demon. Nice job, pick on the stoner kid."

Preocupação, still in Cameron's body, glared. Jinx quickly switched tactics.

Preocupação rolled his eyes. "I need to drain someone soon or else I'll be gone forever."

Jinx then grinned devilishly. "Bye, Worry."

Jinx threw Cameron down to the floor, holding him there. Preocupação looked on in disbelief and anger. He yelled in Portuguese, but Jinx wasn't listening. As Raven listened closer, she realized that Jinx was speaking in Latin.

Cameron's body began to convulse, and his voice was layered with Preocupação's. Jinx's hands and eyes were glowing pink. Jinx held the thrashing teenager down.

Cameron gave one final yell, and Raven could barely see a mist leaking out of him.

Preocupação attempted to make a break for it. "Not so fast, buddy," Jinx growled, her eyes still a bright pink.

Jinx's hands continued to glow to a blindingly bright pink, as the demon writhed and screamed in a demonic-sounding language.

As soon as the demon was gone, Jinx gasped for air.

Raven rushed to her. "Are you alright?"

Jinx grinned. "I didn't even break a sweat. I've exorcised worse demons than that."

Cameron groaned and stirred. He looked up, his eyes widening. "That must be some really good shit Ed has…"

Jinx rolled her eyes good naturedly. "Every time you and your buddies get high, you're susceptible to demons. Just remember that, okay?"

"Demons? You mean like Satan and shit?"

"Cameron, you're a really good writer. So stop wasting away and do something with your life."

Jinx turned on her heel. Neither of themgot far before Serena came walking out of the King Kong theater.

Her hair was wiry red, black clunky glasses framed her green eyes, and she carried a soda.

"Josie Marie Summons, what are you doing here?" Serena demanded.

Jinx slightly flinched, and then retorted with, "I exorcized another worry demon, Serena. It's gone now."

Serena's peeved expression twitched. "Good, but I want your butt in school for the rest of January, you hear?"

"I hear." Jinx groaned.

"Oh, Raven? Your wake starts tomorrow, okay? You, Jinx and Gar'll be there." Serena walked away from them, walking behind a pole. She never reappeared.

Jinx looked at Raven. "Serena never did tell us how to spend the rest of the day, you know."

Raven looked back at her, a smile spreading across her features. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Jinx and Raven quickly, and went off to terrorize the bowling alley.


Reviewers…

Gothic goddess 14: Hee, I can't wait either.

The Last: I fixed that little Raven problem, right? Gar will be fun to mess with, the little emo kid…

Silent Murderess: -blushes- Your comment made my day.

AlyRaven: It's actually going to have echoes of that story. I loved the Wish List.

shadow292: Uh, writer's block much? Don't kill me…

Jimmy the Gothic Egg: Most certainly.

moonarcher: Well, they all know of each other. Whether or not I drag them into this is a different story.

iforgetmyname: Yeah, at least I think I do…

Mad Mauser: Do you want to know the truth? I don't even know. We're going to have fun with Raven's life, yes we are…

crazybritoutforevange: Not as soon as I would have hoped, but I'm going to work my ass off to get this one going.

Dove Parker Roth: Thanks for the review!

romancejunkie: Heh, will you be willing to wait for more?

ggladecease: -sweatdrops- Uh, sorry for the wait…

cherry2hill: -grins- Thanks!

Spirit-of-the-Lupine: The gnomes are already staring over my shoulder, thank you very much.

Masked Solider: Thanks for reading. How's yours going? When am I going to get a sneak preview, huh:)

IGAF-kun: Nope. This is pure AU. I dunno if I'll do something a bit green about him, though.

ryuu: Yes, I'll update…

Stars-Eclisped: I will as long as you keep reviewing.

soaring-bright-flame: Sorry for the wait!

Jessemudflap: -bows down- Thank you thank you thank you thank you for reviewing.

xXBaby05XxBBRJE06: I'll try and update soon…

Thanks for reading this chapter. I'm sure Jimmy the Gothic Egg will bother me at every instance she gets to get me to write this story. (Right, Jimmy?)

Please review, it makes the clouds go away… (I need sugar, stat)